How high performers are accelerating ahead

Customer reach: getting closer but looking beyond

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Although overall we found that a balanced approach is seen as optimal for growth, our research for Growing Beyond also found that high-performing companies tend to see customer relationships as the key to competitiveness over the next two years, while low performers are prioritizing cost optimization. As a result, marketing is a particular focus for high performers.


Global trade has rebounded strongly since its collapse after the financial crisis. High performers recognize the opportunities in market expansion and are making it a central part of their business strategies. And this is not only expansion into the rapid-growth markets: for many years to come, over 50% of global demand will come from the developed world.

Proportion of sales generated in recently entered markets

EY - Critical factors for competitiveness - all respondents


The nature of consumer demand has changed tremendously in recent years. New digital technologies have increased market segmentation and created uncompromising, “know it all, want it all” consumers.

High performers are very responsive to changing customer demands. They recognize that innovating to satisfy changing markets is crucial to long-term success. More than 50% of respondents to the Growing Beyond survey said that selling new products to existing customers is their primary source of increased sales.

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Proportion of sales generated in recently entered markets

Q: What proportion of your sales is generated in markets which your organization or company has entered in the past three years?

EY - Proportion of sales generated in recently entered markets

Source: EIU panel survey, August-September 2012. All charts show percentage of respondents.